^ they may have changed how quickly it refreshes, but they have also changed how they display the info:
they used say, e.g. '1 of 7 people found this helpful' -- i.e. 6 people found it unhelpful. There is now no record of those six negatives.
As I say I got the impression that a negative 'vote' does not counteract a positive one -- which would mean that the negative vote is invisible.
Actually I can prove it by looking at my own reviews:
if I look at them under the my account page, it still shows the negative votes -- an example:
15 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
If I'm not logged in and look at the same review, it says:
15 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich.
(I dont think I need to translate?)
btw, it's not like I go around giving negative votes left right and centre, in fact I give them relatively rarely. But if I'm researching a product, looking at that kind of info can be very helpful.
It is more helpful to show that "15 of 27 users/accounts found this useful". A logged in user therefore can make a much more informed choice much faster...and could be part of the set of "tricks" to log in or remain logged in.
With the previous thing you noticed...pressing F5 to refresh a page often results in your browser pulling data from cache, not from the website itself. CTRL + F5 tells FireFox to reload the page, not refresh. This might be the cause why you don't see changes at Amazon immediately. But you could also be right about Amazon being (very) slow on the uptake of your rating.
[bit of a rant]
If you'd ask me (and I know you didn't), this is why I think replacing desktop applications with web-based ones is more often than not the wrong choice. Visual feedback in any desktop or web-based application is paramount. Heck, someone posted a very interesting article here in the DC forum, about people already experiencing problems when the time between a keyboard key press and the character showing on the computer screen takes too long for them. Those persons are already preparing to retype and having to re-adjust on continuing with the work they are doing actually disrupts their workflow.
When such minor differences in local latencies can already make such a difference, adding all those extra layers/latencies with web-based stuff will be horror. For the 'hunt-and-peckers' amongst us, this won't matter (that much), but for the truly proficient I can see much future trouble in the current trend of making everything web-based. Actually, this trend would prevent people from becoming truly proficient as they are artificially restricted. By accident or by design doesn't really matter here.
Such restrictions result in unmotivated people as there is no possibility to excel. Which is the same plague that occurred with communism (where it also didn't matter how good or bad you did something). Hmmm....you could say that web-based applications are communism.
Let's stop before I derail my post to the basement.
[/bit of a rant]